Source: Media Institute of Southern Africa
ONLY the poor and less influential women are most likely to die from unsafe abortions, women's rights activist, Seodi White, has said. White was presenting a paper in Zomba on Monday at a workshop for editors from different media houses in the country on unsafe abortions.The workshop was organised by the Media Institute of South Africa (Misa- Malawi) with funding from Ipas Malawi.
"Unsafe abortion is a class issue. It discriminates against the poor and powerless. It has a dramatic influence on poor women's choices when faced with an unintended pregnancy," said White.
She said poor women have neither information nor the money to pay for medical abortions.
According to White, to those lacking disposable income or powerful human networks, safe abortion is unaffordable, hence resort to back-door abortion services which often lead to death.
She said when faced with unintended pregnancy, a financially well-off, educated and influential woman can easily get help and find her way out of the situation.
She said research on the issue has proven that laws restricting abortion do not actually stop women from going for abortion, hence the need for Malawi to reform abortion laws.
Lastone Chikoti of Ministry of Health revealed that almost 17 percent of maternal deaths in Malawi are due to unsafe abortion.
"That is equal to a minibus full of women dying every week," he said.
Chisale Mhango of College of Medicine noted that although government hospitals in the country do not administer abortions, they still end up treating most complications from unsafe abortions.
"As a result, government spends more money treating unsafe abortion patients than it would if they allowed hospitals to administer abortions," he said
The editors committed to handle abortion stories with a fresh balanced eye in order to provide the public with accurate and deeper insights on the subject while holding policy makers accountable.